South Asia

Muslim victims of violence in Sri Lanka speak to the WSWS

By our reporters, 17 May 2019

WSWS reporters visiting Minuwangoda, a bustling town in the Gampaha district of Sri Lanka, discovered a ghost town.

Defeat the government’s police-military dictatorial plans

SEP/IYSSE public meeting in Colombo on Sri Lankan emergency declaration

17 May 2019

The meeting will discuss the revolutionary socialist perspective needed to defend the democratic and social rights of working people.

ICFI supporters hold rally in India to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By our correspondents, 16 May 2019

The rally in the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu attracted the attention of workers and youth.

Washington uses terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka to strengthen ties with Colombo

By Rohantha De Silva, 11 May 2019

The “assistance” in the terror investigations is to bind Sri Lanka ever-more closely as Washington steps up its aggressive confrontation with China.

Imperialist war, the working-class upsurge in the Mideast and North Africa, and the strategy of Permanent Revolution

By Keith Jones, 10 May 2019

We are publishing here the text of the speech to the 2019 International May Day Online Rally delivered by Keith Jones.

Anti-Muslim witch-hunt after terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 8 May 2019

Alongside a vicious campaign of anti-Muslim propaganda, hundreds of people have been arrested in house-to-house police operations.

India’s election and the revolutionary program to oppose austerity, war and communal reaction

By Keith Jones, 8 May 2019

The BJP’s turn to militarism and unabashed communal reaction is animated, above all, by its fear of growing social opposition.

SEP (Sri Lanka) holds successful May Day meeting in Colombo, despite government efforts to bar celebrations

By our reporters, 3 May 2019

Some 200 workers, students, youth, professionals and housewives from areas throughout the island attended the meeting.

Sri Lankan SEP denounces political parties’ support for President Sirisena’s police state measures

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 2 May 2019

The SEP warns that the main target of the repressive measures is not Islamic extremists, but working people and their struggles against the government’s austerity agenda.

Tea plantation workers need a global strategy

By Saman Gunadasa, 1 May 2019

Tea plantation workers in India, Kenya and Sri Lanka can end their brutal exploitation only by breaking from the unions and fighting for a unified socialist and internationalist strategy.

As class struggle sharpens,

Indian Stalinists stump for right-wing bourgeois government

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 1 May 2019

India’s Stalinist parliamentary parties have redoubled their efforts to subordinate the working class to the parties and putrid state institutions of the Indian bourgeoisie.

Sri Lankan president steps up military crackdown

By K. Ratnayake, 27 April 2019

The all-party conference convened yesterday in the wake of Sunday’s terrorist bombings rubberstamped the draconian police-state measures being rapidly brought into force.

Sri Lankan president calls “all-party conference” to rubberstamp emergency powers

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 25 April 2019

Following Sunday’s terrorist bombings, the conference has been called to shore up capitalist rule amid an acute political crisis.

After terrorist bombings, Sri Lankan government imposes draconian national emergency

By K. Ratnayake and Peter Symonds, 23 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site condemns the horrendous bombings, which indiscriminately killed innocent men, women and children, and have already provided the pretext for sweeping anti-democratic measures.

At least 290 killed in terrorist bomb attacks in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 22 April 2019

Despite an intelligence alert 10 days before, both the government and police failed to warn the public and took little or no action to prevent the terrible bombings.

Sri Lankan bomb survivors and local residents denounce terror attacks

By our correspondents, 22 April 2019

“The aim of this attack could be to instigate communalism and turmoil. It must be totally condemned.”

SEP and IYSSE in Sri Lanka rally to defend Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 17 April 2019

Sri Lankan media outlets, including Veerakesari, Sri Lanka’s main Tamil-language daily newspaper, covered the SEP and IYSSE demonstration in Colombo.

SEP (Sri Lanka) calls urgent picket to defend Assange and Manning

16 April 2019

The protest called by the SEP and IYSSE will be held at 4 pm today at Fort Railway Station, Colombo.

Communalist taunts, bellicose threats, phony promises

India’s election descends into the mire

By Keith Jones, 16 April 2019

With each week, the election campaign in the world’s “largest democracy” grows more toxic.

Sri Lankan writer imprisoned at instigation of Buddhist extremists

By our correspondents, 13 April 2019

The SEP and the IYSSE condemn the arrest of award-winning Sri Lankan author Shakthika Sathkumara and demand his immediate release.

Arbitrary wage cuts imposed on Sri Lankan estate workers

By W.A. Sunil, 12 April 2019

The Thomson Reuters Foundation research report shows that illegal pay deductions and high workloads are widespread in the plantations.

Samjhauta Express bombing:

Indian Court allows violent Hindu supremacists to go scot-free

By Kranti Kumara, 9 April 2019

In what is a consistent pattern in cases involving Hindu communalist violence against Muslims, an Indian court has exonerated four Hindu extremists implicated in a 2007 bombing that killed 68.

Sri Lankan government prepares new anti-terrorism laws

By Dilruwan Vithanage and Saman Gunadasa, 9 April 2019

The new bill surpasses the hated PTA measures and will be used to suppress the upsurge of opposition against Colombo’s harsh austerity measures.

Office workers killed in building fires in Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 6 April 2019

Hundreds of residents have been killed or injured in recent years by the regularly occurring fires in the city.

UNHRC ignores Sri Lanka’s failure to investigate war crimes

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 3 April 2019

The UNHRC resolution bogusly praised Colombo’s “positive steps” on human rights and gave it two more years to implement previous unfulfilled pledges.

Sri Lankans driven to suicide by exorbitant debt repayments

By Saman Gunadasa, 28 March 2019

Most of those who committed suicide were from the war-ravaged Vavuniya and Jaffna districts in the island’s north and Batticalao in the east.

Amidst mounting social opposition

Indian elite nervously prepares for national elections

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 27 March 2019

Among India’s workers and toilers there is deep-rooted anger against not only the ruling BJP, but against the ruinous outcome of three decades of “pro-investor” reform.

Sri Lankan think tank warns about growing levels of social inequality

By Dilruwan Vithanage, 26 March 2019

In 2016, the richest 10 percent earned the equivalent of the total amount earned by 70 percent of all households per year.

Plantation workers demand freedom for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning and for jailed Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondent, 21 March 2019

Last Sunday’s conference in Sri Lanka’s central hills district endorsed resolutions condemning the persecution of Assange, Manning and Maruti-Suzuki workers in India.

Reports underscore how close India and Pakistan came to all-out war in late February

By Keith Jones, 20 March 2019

Just three weeks ago, India and Pakistan became the first nuclear-armed powers to ever attack each other with warplanes.

Sri Lanka: Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee and SEP hold powerful conference

By our correspondents, 20 March 2019

Over 100 people participated, including estate workers, workers from a diverse range of trades, students and a delegation from Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged northern province.

Victimized Indian autoworker and leader of fight to free framed-up workers speaks to WSWS:

Jailing the Maruti Suzuki workers for life “is meant to encourage the capitalists to further enslave the working class”

By our reporters, 18 March 2019

Jitender Dhankhar—a victimized Maruti Suzuki worker and leader of the fight to free the 13 of his former co-workers at the Manesar car assembly plant who have been jailed for life on frame-up charges—has provided the following interview to the World Socialist Web Site.

Support grows for Sri Lankan plantation workers’ conference

By our correspondents, 16 March 2019

Campaign teams hold discussions with workers on estates across the country’s central hill district.

The US reinforces political and military relations with the Maldives

By Rohantha De Silva, 15 March 2019

The foreign minister’s US trip illustrates how far the new Maldivian government is distancing itself from China.

IMF endorses Sri Lankan government budget

By Saman Gunadasa, 14 March 2019

In line with the IMF’s austerity demands, the government budget contains new taxes and rate rises as well as increased spending on the military and the police.

India: Modi government suppresses disastrous unemployment report

By Kranti Kumara, 13 March 2019

According to the government’s own Labour Force Survey, India’s unemployment rate is the highest in 45 years.

Indian Trotskyists hold Kolkata public meeting to celebrate 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

By our correspondents, 13 March 2019

Sunday’s event was held against the background of intense political and military tension and the danger of war between India and Pakistan, with deadly consequences for millions of people in the region.

SEP in Sri Lanka wins strong support for plantation workers’ conference

By our reporters, 9 March 2019

Plantation workers welcomed SEP and IYSSE campaigners while angrily denouncing the plantation unions’ betrayal of their wage strike.

Demand the unconditional reinstatement of Sri Lankan plantation worker S. Balasubramaniyam!

By M. Thevarajah and W.A. Sunil, 7 March 2019

Balasubramaniyam’s sacking is part of a broader attack on estate workers by the plantation companies and the government.

Days after coming to the brink of all-out war

India and Pakistan stoke chauvinism, exchange threats

By Deepal Jayasekera, 6 March 2019

Although cross-border shelling has reportedly declined since Sunday, continuing tensions between South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states have left the region on the brink of a catastrophic war.

SEP meetings launch Tamil edition of The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century

By our correspondents, 6 March 2019

The meetings at Hatton in Sri Lanka’s central plantation district and Jaffna, in the war-ravaged north, attracted important layers of workers and youth.

India-Pakistan war tensions escalate

By Deepal Jayasekera, 4 March 2019

At least six civilians and two Pakistani soldiers have been killed as a result of cross-border shelling from both sides along the Line of Control.

India and Pakistan tobogganing toward a catastrophic war

By Keith Jones, 2 March 2019

India and Pakistan are teetering on the brink of what would be the first-ever war between nuclear-armed states.

India and Pakistan issue fresh war threats

By K. Ratnayake, 1 March 2019

Even as Islamabad agreed to release a captured Indian pilot as a “peace gesture,” India and Pakistan continued their war preparations.

Nuclear-armed India, Pakistan on brink of all-out war

By K. Ratnayake, 28 February 2019

Pakistan announced Wednesday that it had struck targets in India after India carried out a large-scale bombing raid deep in Pakistan on Tuesday morning.

US naval chief denounces China and calls for stronger military partnership with Sri Lanka

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 28 February 2019

Sri Lanka’s strategic location alongside the world’s busiest shipping route is vital to increasingly aggressive US geo-strategic and military manoeuvres against China.

Sri Lankan plantation companies reap huge profits while attacking workers’ wages and conditions

By Saman Gunadasa, 27 February 2019

Plantation workers’ wages are being lowered while giant tea industry corporations and local companies alike thrive through the ruthless exploitation of their workforce.

Frontline Socialist Party prepares political trap for Sri Lankan plantation workers

By K. Ratnayake, 21 February 2019

The FSP is attempting to prevent plantation workers from breaking with the unions and developing an independent struggle against the employers and the government.

The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India

Modern Indian art at the Asia Society Museum in New York

By Josh Varlin and Evan Cohen, 20 February 2019

The Progressive Artists’ Group brought together remarkable artists whose works express the democratic and anti-imperialist sentiments of millions as the British Raj ended.

Indian government intensifies retaliatory threats against Pakistan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 19 February 2019

Any Indian military strike could easily lead to a tit-for-tat escalation and rapidly cascade into an all-out war between South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states.

Sri Lankan tea plantation workers protest victimisations

By our reporters, 19 February 2019

Demonstrators denounced the unions’ betrayal of recent wage strikes and demanded management immediately end the frame-up of militant Annfield Estate workers.

Indian government seizes on Kashmir attack to ratchet up tensions with Pakistan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 February 2019

New Delhi’s denunciations and blood-curdling threats are all but an announcement of an impending Indian military strike on Pakistan.

Sri Lankan president denounces opponents of the death penalty

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 15 February 2019

Sirisena not only wants reinstatement of executions but the endorsement of all human rights organisations.

Sri Lanka: SEP and Abbotsleigh workers’ committee organise picket to oppose witch hunt in plantations

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

The fight against the witch hunt in the plantations is bound up with the defence of the democratic rights of the working class from the onslaught of the capitalist class.

Sri Lankan plantation companies rule out further wage increases after union sellout

By W.A. Sunil, 13 February 2019

The unions’ betrayal of protracted industrial and political action has cleared the way for further attacks on workers by the plantation companies.

“It is necessary to base our struggle not on one company or on one nation, but by mobilizing the workers of the world”

Maruti Suzuki workers in India send greetings to February 9 protest

12 February 2019

Jitender Dhankar, a member of the provisional committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) in India, sent a message of solidarity to the workers and young people who participated in the February 9 demonstration against the factory closures and mass layoffs by General Motors.

The way forward to win wages and social rights

Workers Action Committee in Sri Lanka calls plantation workers’ conference

By the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee, 12 February 2019

The conference will discuss the lessons of the recent plantation workers’ struggle and the political strategy needed to win their demands.

Sri Lankan president’s Independence Day speech exposes deep crisis of rule

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 9 February 2019

Sirisena bemoaned the failure of successive governments but offered no solution, amid ongoing infighting in ruling circles and mounting opposition by working people to the worsening social crisis.

Over 7,000 Bangladesh garment workers sacked after wage protests

By Wimal Perera, 8 February 2019

While the garment trade unions publicly bewail the mass sackings and arrests, these organisations have created the political conditions for the crackdown.

Sri Lankan SEP public meetings to launch Tamil edition of The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century

7 February 2019

The book is critical in exposing the many lies perpetrated about the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the subsequent degeneration of the Soviet Union.

India and the Maldives strengthen military ties

By Rohantha De Silva, 5 February 2019

In a clear jab against China, the two countries agreed not to allow their territories to “be used for any activity that is hostile to each other’s interest.”

Sri Lanka: 16 families homeless after fire at Bogawantalawa tea plantation

By A. Suresh and M. Thevarajah, 4 February 2019

The disaster again highlights the difficult and dangerous conditions facing Sri Lankan plantation workers and their families.

India: Unions betray Tamil Nadu teachers’ and government workers’ strike

By Arun Kumar, 1 February 2019

The unions have cynically claimed that the shutdown of all industrial action is “temporary.”

IMF to resume Sri Lankan loan program discussions

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 January 2019

The Sri Lankan government has assured the IMF of its commitment to “strong” austerity measures.

Indian state government fires hundreds of teachers as Tamil Nadu strike faces a crossroads

By Arun Kumar, 30 January 2019

By isolating striking teachers and government workers, the JACTTO-GEO, which has hundreds of thousands of members, has allowed the state government to intensify its anti-democratic attacks.

Sri Lankan plantation workers protest unions’ sellout wage deal

By M. Thevarajah and W.A. Sunil, 29 January 2019

The unions, having suppressed an indefinite strike last month, are imposing an agreement in line with the demands of the plantation companies and the government.

Oppose the Sri Lankan plantation unions’ sellout agreement!

Resolution of the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee, 29 January 2019

The following resolution, calling for the establishment of action committees at all estates and the rejection of a union sellout deal, was passed at a meeting of plantation workers on Sunday.

India: Striking Tamil Nadu teachers and government employees defy state repression

By Arun Kumar, 28 January 2019

In an attempt to break the strike, the state government has arrested hundreds of teachers who face charges of unlawful assembly and other bogus allegations.

Indian Trotskyists campaign for Kolkata meeting to mark the 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

By Arun Kumar and Ritwik Mitter, 26 January 2019

Indian university students discuss the rising danger of war and the betrayal by the Stalinist parties of the working class.

Indian teachers, government workers launch indefinite strike in Tamil Nadu

By Deepal Jayasekera, 25 January 2019

Defying mass arrests, 700,000 workers have been on strike since Tuesday, part of a growing global working class upsurge.

Striking Tamil Nadu teachers denounce state and central governments

By Sasi Kumar and Nanda Kumar, 25 January 2019

Protesting teachers told WSWS that all the parliamentary parties have inflicted similar attacks on pay and conditions.

Sri Lankan president praises Philippine-style “war on drugs”

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 23 January 2019

Sirisena’s support for Duterte’s death squads and police-state violence points to Sri Lankan preparations for dictatorial methods of rule.

Following strike, Bangladesh employers sack hundreds of garment workers

By Rohantha De Silva, 22 January 2019

The workers were not given any warnings and have not been paid outstanding wages and benefits in direct violation of Bangladesh’s limited labour laws.

Maldives president launches “anti-corruption” campaign to undermine Chinese influence

By Rohantha De Silva, 21 January 2019

The purpose of the government’s investigation is to witch hunt former President Yameen and other pro-Chinese factions of the Maldives ruling elite.

Indian government foreshadows harsher internet surveillance and censorship

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 January 2019

The planned laws are part of vast array of anti-democratic measures being introduced by governments internationally to target and spy on internet users.

Indian transit workers in Mumbai defy authorities, continue strike

By Kranti Kumara, 16 January 2019

As soon as the strike began, Maharashtra’s BJP state government invoked essential services legislation, threatening the strikers with mass incarceration, fines and dismissals.

Sri Lankan workers must oppose the witch-hunt of militant plantation workers

By M. Thevarajah, 16 January 2019

Plantation bosses, with the backing of the government, police and the unions, are attempting to intimidate estate workers and suppress their wage demands.

Bangladesh government oversees police attacks on protesting garment workers

By Wimal Perera, 16 January 2019

The Awami League-led government is seeking to suppress the wages movement with threats, police violence and victimisations.

Sri Lankan government proposes pay “formula” to end plantation workers’ struggle

By W.A. Sunil, 15 January 2019

The aim of the suggested three-year wage plan is to impose the burden of the crisis in the plantation industry onto workers.

The political significance of India’s two-day general strike

By Keith Jones, 12 January 2019

This week’s general strike in India, one of the largest strikes in history, is part of a growing upsurge of the world working class.

Sri Lankan president issues bogus promise to fulfil election pledges

By K. Ratnayake, 11 January 2019

Sirisena is attempting to cement an alliance with former President Mahinda Rajapakse against the United National Party-led government.

Mounting social anger seen in two-day strike against Indian government

By our correspondents, 10 January 2019

While the capitalist media tried to black out the strike, it was supported by broad sections of the working class.

Worker killed as Bangladesh police attack striking garment workers

By Wimal Perera, 10 January 2019

The re-elected Hasina government is mobilising heavily-armed police to suppress protests by garment workers over wages.

India’s “rise” and the savage exploitation of the working class

By Kranti Kumara, 10 January 2019

India’s rapidly expanding working class is condemned to poverty wages, Dickensian working conditions and precarious employment, and this in a country in which public services, if they exist at all, are dilapidated.

Sri Lankan plantation workers oppose company-union attempts to impose sell-out

By our reporters, 8 January 2019

There is widespread hostility to the plans for a new collective agreement that would reject workers’ demand for a 100 percent wage rise.

Indian Trotskyists in Kolkata to celebrate 80 years of the Fourth International

7 January 2019

The Kolkata meeting will review the essential political lessons of the protracted struggle of the Fourth International and their relevance to the fight for socialist internationalism today.

India’s unions to hold two-day “general strike” next week

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 January 2019

While millions of workers will join the protest strike to oppose Modi and his class-war policies, the Stalinists and their union allies are intent on channelling social opposition behind the Congress and other rightwing parties.

Fifteen Indian coal miners trapped, likely killed, in mine disaster

By W. A. Sunil, 5 January 2019

Rescue efforts after the “rat-hole” mine flooded have been hampered by inadequate equipment and the indifference of the government authorities.

Sri Lankan JVP postures as a saviour of “democracy”

By Sakuna Jayawardana and K. Ratnayake, 4 January 2019

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s response to the country’s political crisis is to promote illusions in parliamentary democracy.

Sri Lankan plantation union discussing sellout deal with companies

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 3 January 2019

The back-room negotiations between the unions and employers are part of a broader attack on the living conditions of all workers.

India: Stalinist unions suppress Tamil Nadu auto strikes, promise “industrial peace”

By Arun Kumar and Yuan Darwin, 31 December 2018

The strikes’ outcome is further proof that the Stalinist-led CITU serves as an industrial police force for big business, containing and suppressing working-class opposition.

Amid widespread violence, Bangladesh’s ruling party re-elected

By Vimal Perera, 31 December 2018

The opposition parties have condemned the election as “farcical” and demanded a “fresh election under non-partisan administration.”

One million Indian bank workers strike; tens of thousands of Korean taxi drivers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 December 2018

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

The 50th anniversary of the founding of the SEP (Sri Lanka)

The RCL/SEP’s political struggle against the LSSP’s betrayal

By W.A. Sunil and Deepal Jayasekera, 27 December 2018

The RCL waged a consistent struggle, under difficult conditions, against the second coalition government, particularly against the LSSP, which continued to dishonestly trade on its previous Trotskyist record.

New postings in Urdu on capitalist breakdown and war, France’s Yellow Vest protests

27 December 2018

Four recent WSWS Perspectives are now available in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language.

Factional acrimony continues as Sri Lankan president appoints new cabinet

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 22 December 2018

Sirisena’s delay in appointing the new cabinet makes clear that bitter factional infighting is continuing within Colombo’s political elite.

Sri Lanka: Abbotsleigh tea plantation workers speak out against harsh living and working conditions

By our reporters, 21 December 2018

Sri Lankan plantation workers, like their international counterparts, are being ruthlessly exploited by the giant corporations that control the industry.

The US hails Wickremesinghe’s reinstatement as Sri Lankan prime minister

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 20 December 2018

The US was concerned that the ousting of Wickremesinghe would jeopardise the close military relations developed with Colombo under his government.

Sri Lanka: Action committee of Abbotsleigh Estate workers holds inaugural meeting

By our correspondents, 18 December 2018

The meeting passed resolutions calling for independent action committees to fight for decent wages and conditions, and pledged support to “yellow vest” protesters in France, US auto workers and jailed Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court refuses to hear SEP’s legal action against May Day meeting ban

By our correspondent, 18 December 2018

The government’s intention was to sabotage May Day demonstrations and rallies, a tradition established by workers before the end of British colonial rule in 1948.